Best Metal Detector for Woodworking: Wood Metal Detectors

Metal detectors help find metal objects underground or within other solid objects such as wood. In woodworking, they can help greatly to reduce the time examining wood when trying to repurpose it to use it for a different project. It is crucial for wood to be nail-free when using a saw, cutter, or other heavy equipment that can be damaged by pieces of metal hidden in the wood. In the best case, you’ll need to re-sharpen the saw or blade. Worst case the equipment can be damaged beyond repair or even cause personal injury.

There are many metal detectors, but most of them are meant for finding metal on the ground or for the security industry. We have compiled the best metal detectors for woodworking as these will be the most effective ones when trying to repurpose wood for your project. Take a look below:

Woodworking Metal Detectors – Review

Lumber Wizard 5 Metal Detector for Woodworking


  • The Lumber Wizard 5 Metal Detector works quite fast compared to other metal detectors
  • It is also self-calibrating to save you time and hassle
  • Every purchase of the Lumber Wizard 5 Metal Detector for Woodworking comes with one year warranty.


  • The switches on the Lumber Wizard 5 Metal Detecto are very small and have shallow tactile feedback.
  • The Lumber Wizard 5 Metal Detecto requires a 9-volt battery which is not included in the packaging.

The Lumber Wizard 5 Metal Detector for Woodworking is great for detecting screws, bullets, nails, wire, and all other metal contaminants inside the wood. It has a 6-inch comprehensive scan function that scans a wide area quickly and precisely. It can also automatically tune itself to the required sensitivity frequency and surface area needed to check. Hence, it provides one-hand equipment usage.

It has an indicator for when the device has a low battery. This will remind you always to keep your metal detector fully charged. If the volt units go below 3, the device emits a beeping sound until it finally shuts off. The Lumber Wizard 5 Metal Detector for Woodworking comes with a laser and a red LED indicator for whenever there is a detection in the wood. The older model of the Lumber Wizard 5 Metal Detector had a low voltage vibrator inbuilt for indication. But now, the LED light serves as the silent indication for this metal detector.

Product Details:

Product Dimensions18 x 3 x 1.5 inches
Item Weight13 ounces
Batteries9V battery required

Zircon MetalliScanner m40 Handheld Electronic Metal Detector


  • ED arrays that will indicate the strength of the detection signal to the user.
  • The Zircon MetalliScanner Metal Detector can use the function of the wide scan to find all the locations where there might be metal scraps precisely.
  • It comes with a 9-volt battery that is already included in the package.


  • This metal detector requires you to keep the device as close as possible to the source lumber to detect the metals.

You can use the Zircon MetalliScanner Metal Detector to locate both ferrous and non-ferrous metals. When the metal scrap is found, the audio tone is automatically played to alert the user. There is also a blue coil that lights up when the signal is at its strongest. This indicates that the metal object is very near to the metal detector. You have to charge the battery to its maximum capacity to yield the full working power of the device.

The Zircon MetalliScanner Metal Detector can locate metal on a lot of different surfaces as well. This includes concrete floors, drywall, and wood. It uncovers nail patterns on lumber that detect studs.

Product Details:

Item Weight‎5.6 ounces
Product Dimensions‎12 x 5.6 x 1.4 inches
Batteries Required?‎Yes

Wizard Detectors 25506 Lumber Wizard III Metal Detector


  • It is precise and can pinpoint the exact location of the metal scrap
  • The Lumber Wizard III Metal Detector can detect up to 6 inches deep on wood
  • It has audio and tactile indicators when the device senses any metal object nearby


  • You will need a 9-volt battery to run this device. It does not come with the purchase of the metal detector.

The Lumber Wizard III Metal Detector for Woodworking can detect metal in almost any type of wood. It can also sense metal that is buried at least 6 inches deep. You get a sound alert whenever the machine picks up something. Additionally, there is also an earphone jack on the device that you can plugin, or else you can also make use of the vibrating function that is built-in with the metal detector.

The Lumber Wizard III Metal Detector for wood vibrates whenever the machine picks up a metal object near the sensor. It is a precise piece of equipment that can tell you the precise location of the metal contaminants in the wood. The handle has a slight bend, which helps you glide the device along with the wood, but your hands don’t touch the wood for safety purposes.

Product Details:

Item Weight‎2 pounds
Product Dimensions‎22 x 3 x 2 inches
Power Source‎DC

Garrett 1165190 Super scanner V Metal Detector


  • No sensitivity adjustments are required.
  • This metal detector is made out of only the highest quality materials for durability and functionality.
  • The Garrett Super Scanner V (1165190) Metal Detector for woodworking can locate metal about 6 inches deep into the wood.


  • You don’t get a charger together with the device. You will have to spend additional money to buy a plug-in charger for the Garrett Super Scanner V.

The Garrett Super Scanner V Metal Detector was constructed with the toughest and roughest requirements. This metal detector is both comfortable to use and also delivers quality performance. Since the wand is a motion sensor, you have to keep moving it to detect metal constantly. Whether the rod detects metal precisely or not also depends on the type of metal present in the wood, the wood density, and even the battery level metal detector itself.

It comes with a rechargeable battery, so you don’t have to replace the batteries at all. The batteries that come with the Garrett Super Scanner V are environmentally friendly and Cadmium free.

Product Details:

Product Dimensions17 x 4 x 2 inches; 1.45 Pounds
Batteries9V batteries required
MaterialABS plastic case

Little Wizard II Nail Finder Woodworking Metal Detector


  • The Little Wizard II metal detector is small and portable so that you can carry it anywhere you like
  • It has an adjustable sensitivity probe that helps you choose the frequency of sensitivity you want
  • The Little Wizard II metal detector comes with LED sensors if you miss out on the high-pitched alarm.


  • You cannot use the Little Wizard II metal detector to detect metal on big sawing lumber.

The Little Wizard II metal detector is a held metal detector that can quickly locate nails, screws, and other metal scraps in wood. You can use this device on wood before you start routing, cutting, or sawing through the wood to avoid damage to the different types of equipment. This portable metal detector is specially designed for woodworking. Therefore, it is the perfect tool to scan wood and lumber for metal detection. The Little Wizard II metal detector emits a high-pitched noise along with a few blinking LEDs whenever it detects metal near its sensor.

With the Little Wizard II metal detector, you can say goodbye to all unnecessary manual searching because it can pinpoint the exact location of the metal. You can also adjust the sensitivity level on the metal detector to locate more items that may be buried deep.

Product Details:

Product Dimensions8.66 x 2.76 x 1.57 inches
Item Weight4 ounces

Why use a metal detector for woodworking?

There are many reasons why metal detectors are used for woodworking. Here are some of the main points:

  1. To avoid any damage to woodworking machinery if there are metals present in any wood pieces. Small pieces of metal can damage expensive saws and cutters, which will cost valuable time and money for repair down the line.
  2. Although you can saw through small pieces of metal, there are chances of the machine getting damaged with even small nails, which can cause you an expensive repair. A metal detector will save you time and effort when repurposing wood.
  3. Many metal detectors can only sense metal present on the outer surface of the wood. Therefore, it is essential to use a sensitive metal detector that can help repurpose and salvage wood.

How to use a metal detector on wood

Typically, all metal detectors easily find metals when used with the metal detector; such can also work the other way around. If a piece of metal is far away from the metal detector, the metal detector should move just as fast to detect the metal in wood.

metal detector to find nails on wood

When using a handheld metal detector for woodworking, it is best to move the wand quickly but not too fast. Once you find a piece of metal, try to narrow down the movement speed that makes the metal detector make the most noise. This will allow the metal detector to find metal buried deep in the wood, such as fasteners, nails, or wires. It sounds contradictory but the farther away from the chunk of metal, the faster you’ll need to move the detector.

Of course, this all varies and depends on the metal detector, type of wood, type of metal, and thickness of the wood. Being good at finding metal in wood is not difficult but you’ll get accustomed to the best practices while doing so the more you do it.

Using the Lumber Wizard Woodworking Metal detector.

Considerations When Looking for Metal Detectors

Can Metal Detectors Find Small Nails in Wood?

Yes, most metal detectors can find small nails in wood. In fact, a woodworker or carpenter will mainly use a metal detector as a nail finder. This also depends on the sensitivity adjustment you have your metal detector set to. It is recommended to find the most sensitive metal detector if you expect the wood to have small nails embedded.

Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metals

Ferrous metals contain iron and are magnetic. Hence, the most accessible metals are to be detected under the sensor of a metal detector. Some examples are cast iron, carbon steel, wrought iron, etc.

image of wood metal detector

On the other hand, non-ferrous metals don’t have iron in them. Some examples of non-ferrous metals are copper, aluminum, tin, and lead. These non-ferrous metals are not the easiest to detect under metal detectors as compared to ferrous metals.

Can Metal Detectors Locate Non-Ferrous Metals?

Yes, some metal detectors can locate non-ferrous metals, but only if the sensitivity frequency is high on the device. Since non-ferrous metals have a deficient level of electrical conductivity, it is difficult for a metal detector to detect them as quickly as ferrous metals. Lumber Wizard metal detectors can detect a variety of non-ferrous metals according to the manufacturer.

man using a metal detector on a wood surface

What are Some Other Ways of Finding Metal in Wood?

There are some ways in which you can detect metal in wood apart from metal detectors. However, they cannot detect non-ferrous metals. They are:


You can make use of strong magnets to find metal scraps in your wood. You can hook your magnet to the end of a thread or a fishing line for more stability and swing it around above your lumber. When the magnet detects metal, it will stop turning and pull towards a ferrous metal.

A Compass

A magnetic compass can be used to detect metal on wood. Whenever there is a metal scrap near the compass, the needle will start to move in a different direction than the magnetic north. Note that compassed do not have very strong magnets and this should only be used as a last resource.

Final Thoughts & Recommendation

For woodworking purposes, it is vital to use a metal detector at all times to avoid any unseen accidents or prevent damage to your machines. This will help you significantly lower your repair costs for the pieces of equipment used in cutting and processing wood.

We recommend using the Lumber Wizard 5 Metal Detector for the best result when it comes to inspecting metal contaminants in your lumber. It is cost-effective and gets the job done.

Have any recommendations or tips when using metal detectors on wood? Let us know below!